Israel Objects to Activities of PLO Officials in Washington

Israel has expressed objections to the U.S. government over the recent activities of top PLO officials in Washington. Shawfiq Al-Hut. a PLO political leader, briefed Senators and newsmen in the U.S. capital after having obtained express permission to do so from the State Department. Israeli newspapers reported today that the permit was issued on President Ford’s orders. Officials here said the Embassy in Washington had conveyed Israel’s objections to the State Department.

Foreign Minister Yigal Allon told the Cabinet it would be a mistake for Israel to overplay America’s recent public expression of thanks voiced by both Ford and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger to the PLO for its role in the Beirut evacuation. Israel had lodged its official reservations with Washington, Allon said. But the Administration explained that its thanks had been conveyed orally to all parties involved in the Lebanon evacuation, via the British Embassy, and this should not be seen as a direct or indirect recognition of the PLO. Some ministers said later they felt Allon was being “too calm” about these signs of change in the U.S. attitude towards the PLO.

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